Help needed: University Park trees endangered UPDATED

Got this in the inbox this morning:

Can anyone refer me to a certified arborist who doesn’t make their living cutting down or pruning trees? I live in University Park Homes, a gated community of 150 or so homes that is set in an urban forest. It is near the American River, between campus commons and sierra oaks. The area is known for its tall colorful trees. Without notification, the homeowners association voted (three people) to remove 22 trees, 10 of which are directly in my view. An arborist has recommended the removal of 144 trees over two years replacing large shady greenery with a shorter variety of trees that don’t provide shade. It appears they are going for the Southwest look?

If this was my hood I’d be pretty darn upset. Everybody knows Sacramento is all about the trees.

Update: My emailer was kind enough to send photos of some of the endangered trees…

Author: CoolDMZ

"X-ray vision to see in between / Where's my kimono and my time machine?"

20 thoughts on “Help needed: University Park trees endangered UPDATED”

  1. Most certified arborists are tree friendly. However, their reports are based on recommendations by the projected site development. i.e. someone gave them a footprint of development and based on that they recommended which trees should be removed – they don’t just pick at random unless they are like a landscape architect. If the trees aren’t protected by the local jurisdiction then you could be screwed. Depends on the types of trees and what feathery critters are nesting in the trees. First find out what the proper avenue of recourse is, i.e. how can you overturn their decision, delay the decision. There are lots of companies that you can hire to do independent arborist surveys like ESA but determine your legal strategy before you spend money out of your own pocket.


  2. call the sacramento tree foundation

    steve s. who used to work there is an arborist, maybe they can give you his phone number. good luck.


  3. Cool:

    Pass this along to your enquirer:

    Arborists can be found by visiting

    The International Society of Arborculture is the organization that certifies Arborists and provides them their certification. As the manager of an HOA where trees have been a contentious issue I have used this resource many times, and have also put a provision in our CC&R’s that only allows for removal of dead, dangerous, or diseased trees as certified by an Arborist. That means that any time one wants to remove a tree they must hire an Arborist to sign off on it. It tends to keep people from doing things like this to increase their view. Your Board could introduce a rule like this.

    The real way you can affect this is to run for the Board of your HOA, or at least show up at the meetings and voice your concern. A respectful but strongly worded letter usually gets the attention of the Board, and perhaps they would be interested in starting a Committee to review your landscaping and tree situation. Board members are volunteers and generally choose the path of least resistance, as opposed to having some sinister tree killing agenda. There may be a valid reason for this that you’re not aware of, or a requirement from your community’s insurance company. There are frequently lots of factors in decisions like this.

    Also, it was said that it was without notification, which under CA Common Interest Development Law (HOA Law) is illegal. An agenda must be distributed or posted prior to any meeting and only items on the agenda may be acted on. So if this action taken wasn’t on the agenda, it’s null and void and you can get an injunction to stop the action.

    Hope that helps.


  4. Call SMUD, too! They are constantly trying to get people to plant and maintain shade trees. In this age of rising energy costs, how any home association could suggest building without lots of overhanging shade is just beyond me…


  5. What kind of trees are they cutting down? Maybe there is a solid reason to cut them down. Have they reached their lifespan? Are they infected? I have a large(well over 30′ tall) beautiful tree in my backyard(fair oaks) yet it is at the end of its lifespan and is now a threat to my safety if the wind picks up.


  6. The tree foundation was a great idea as was an independent arborists. Based on the notice, the board reversed their decision and will bring it up again in late October. The arborist here in Citrus Heights also works for a tree cutting company. His belief is that all pears and liquid ambers are “poorly structured” and should be taken down and replaced with better structured trees.

    I need to demonstrate they are safe when pruned. They made it through the storm of the century last year, unlike many of the redwoods here. 4 of the 7 in question are right in front of my house. I have been here since 2001, why would they all of a sudden become unsafe due to poor structure and is this just an arborist word for ugly tree.


  7. I heard about it via email. As far as I know this is a Sac Rag exclusive!

    Feel free to email me offline, if you’re interested in the details maybe I can get you in touch with my emailer:


  8. I hear that CoolDMZ said the Berkeley tree protesters were lame (“limp wristed pseudo tree loving media pigs”) for coming down after 1 year and a half, and that he could do 2 years in a tree “standing on his head.”


  9. This site is great. Since I posted, I have spoken with multiple sacramento tree foundation people, learned hwo to check out the credentials of arborists. Found that the arborist in question is not a registered consulting arborist. Found out that the arborist used to have a tree cutting company and sold his tree cutting company to the company that is slated to possibly cut the trees.
    I would like to post a picture of the trees in question so those so helpful can see what Sacramento stands to lose. How do I post a picture?


  10. Can I get a copy of a tree cutting policy from the above HOA manager? I think the name was Cool.


  11. The association agreed to mark the trees and send a mailer out to the community. The placed a 1/2 inch x 8inch piece of grey duct tape on the trees. So much for notification. Would not work for Prop 65. I bought a 3inch roll of yellow ribbon to place on the trees. Do you think this will help?


  12. Based on what I’ve read, it sounds to me as though the arborist in charge of consulting your HOA is still running a tree-termination service. Please post his name, business name and address. Perhaps the Better Business Bureau should be informed of this possible con-man?


  13. Also, I saw the pictures of these trees. They do NOT appear to be a danger and are quite beautiful. Is your HOA bored or just naive victims of a con-man? Maybe they’re both! Keep the updates coming!


  14. Worse than a con-man. Once the first arborist was connected to a tree termination service, a letter came from a different certified arborist to the entire community siting 22 trees as dangerous. When the company truck came through the community to handle pruning, I noticed the contruction license number was not on the truck – like our regular landscaping company. A business name and phone number was on the truck and when I called it, the tree cutter answered a cell phone.I looked on-line and found out that no such company exists. I went to the Secretary of State Business Portal and found that neither the company nor the person had a license in CA.


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